When buying or selling your property in Spain, you have to pass through a Spanish notary. However, an appointment with a Spanish notary is completely different from what we are used to in Belgium or the Netherlands. In this article you will find some tips to prepare for an appointment with a Spanish notary.
What to bring for an appointment with a Spanish notary?
You will have your original and valid identity card or passport have to bring with you. In addition, if you applied for your NIE number yourself, you can also bring the original NIE certificate bring (NIE blank).
It is also advisable to have a Spanish text to prepare which states who you are, what time you have an appointment, why you are coming and which person made your appointment. This will allow the receptionist to help you more quickly.
Finally, take your bank cards or cash with. If you come to sign a Spanish power of attorney, the receptionist will ask that you settle immediately. Cost +/- 90 euros. For a deed of purchase or sale, the invoices will follow later and your counsel will take care of their payment.
Timing at a Spanish notary
A 10am appointment does not mean that you will sign the deed at 10am. Depending on how busy the day is and the complexity of the transaction, the deed can also be signed at 11 a.m. or 2 p.m. at the latest (the normal closing time for notaries in Spain). So it is not like in Belgium and the Netherlands that the entire file has been prepared and the deed only needs to be gone over. So keep in mind that the deed may take the whole morning.
Most Spanish notaries - in my experience - are not prepared in time. This means that we receive the draft texts of deeds only a few days in advance. These texts then still need to be corrected. Often, things still need to be added or corrected to the draft on the spot, during the appointment. You then see the notary public still sitting in front of his computer finalising the draft, with the councillors of both parties discussing and looking over his shoulder. Once the text is in order, the deed is printed and the notary has to come running.
If you do not understand or speak Spanish, when the deed is read out, it will be translated into a language you understand, for example Dutch or English. We will take on this task. If you do not have counsel, you will need to hire a translator.
How do I pay the seller when buying property in Spain?
In Spain, the seller is basically paid by Spanish bank cheque. This means you need to have bank cheques prepared in advance with the correct amounts and details of the seller. In addition, you need to take into account the various retentions of the purchase price. For example, you may have to deduct a certain amount from the purchase price for the Spanish tax authorities. Normally, we organise these matters for you.
You can also pay by bank transfer. In that case, it is advisable to pay at the same time as signing the deed of sale. Sometimes they ask you to transfer earlier, but then you have no guarantee that the seller will effectively show up at the appointment.
Do I have to attend an appointment with a Spanish notary myself?
To sign a deed of purchase or sale, you can be represented via a notarised power of attorney or mandato verbal. You do not need to be present in person then. To draw up a will, you should always be present in person. After all, a will cannot be drawn up by power of attorney.
An appointment with a Spanish notary is therefore completely different from those in Belgium and the Netherlands. It is crucial that you let yourself be assisted at your appointment for a sale or purchase deed. That way, your interests are safeguarded, as last-minute adjustments often occur.